Pharmacists play a key role in maintaining the health of all Australians, including those living in rural and remote areas of Australia. The Rural Support Programs are a continuing initiative under the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) in recognition of this role. The programs aim to strengthen and support the rural pharmacy workforce, providing increased access to quality pharmacy services for patients residing in rural and remote regions of Australia.
The Rural Support Programs consist of a number of strategies including rural pharmacy scholarships, a continuing professional education allowance, an emergency locum service, incentive allowances to support the intern year in rural and remote areas and support to encourage pharmacy students to undertake placements in rural and remote Australia as a part of their pharmacy degree. The Rural Pharmacy Support programs also include a Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance in recognition of the additional burden of maintaining a pharmacy in rural and remote areas of Australia.